Thursday, March 15, 2012

KOREAN ROCK: YB’s “The Blue Whale” Supports the Weak (1)

Hinsuyeom Gorae (흰수염 고래, “The White-whiskered Whale” or “The Blue Whale”) 

Hinsuyeom Gorae, “The Blue Whale”: The mini-album by YB
(Release date: 11/24/2011/Daeum Entertainment)
Front cover illustrated by SENAN3
Clockwise from top left: Scott Hellowell (guitar), 
Park Tae Hee (bass), Yoon Do Hyun (vocalist and guitar), 
Kim Jin Won (drums), and Huh Joon (guitar)

Official Website (English) for YB 
(or Yun Dohyeon Baendeu (윤도현 밴드, “The Yoon Do Hyun Band”)

[MV] YB: Hinsuyeom Gorae
(The Blue Whale, 2011)

Today, I want to introduce you to a very moving, encouraging song - Hinsuyeom Gorae (흰수염 고래) by YB, one of my most favorite Korean rock bands. When I first heard the Korean title of the song, Hinsuyeom Gorae, which literally translates to “A white-whiskered whale,” I thought it was meant to refer to a whale shark featured in “Lucy the Whale Shark” of “Go, Diego, Go!” that my son, Caleb, used to love to watch when he was little.  Out of curiosity, I ran an Internet search to find out it was actually a blue whale, which is called Hinsuyeom Gorae or Daewang Gorae (대왕고래, “(King) Whale the Great”) in Korean.  In my own defense, I was confused since (i) both blue whales (mammal) and whale sharks (fish) are humongous – the former is the largest extant animal and the latter the largest extant fish; (ii) both are considered threatened species – the former endangered and the latter vulnerable; and most importantly, (iii) both of them are docile and not aggressive towards humans or other animals/fish, feeding mostly on krill or planktonic species. 

Yoon Do Hyun wrote the lyrics of this beautiful title song, Hinsuyeom Gorae or “The Blue Whale” (and also composed the song together with YB guitarist Huh Joon) after watching a blue whale documentary.  Even though blue whales have no rival in size and power/strength, hence (except for the baby blue whales) have no natural predators, they do not harm or prey on humans or other animals/fish.  They are known to most dignifiedly and composedly live alone or with one other individual.  Human beings are unlike blue whales in every way except that both are mammals.  Unlike in their world, there’s so much misery in our world:  The strong overpower the weak and the rich mock the poor; adding insult to injury, the strong claim more power by oppressing the weak and the rich get richer by stealing from the poor.

In promotional print media for the album, the band’s management agency, Daeum Entertainment, revealed that Yoon wanted to comfort and support the weak and needy in our society.  And while singing the song on his own show, Mnet’s “Yoon Do Hyun’s MUST,” on December 6, 2011, he surprised the audience by shedding tears in the middle of the song.  He wasn’t able to sing some parts of the song to fight back the tears, which brought tears to the eyes of the crowd, too.  Yoon said, “What a contrast there is between the blue whales, the largest in the ocean yet harmless and peaceful, and some overbearing and overpowering members of our society!”

[LIVE] YB: Hinsuyeom Gorae
(The Blue Whale, on Mnet's MUST (12/6/11))

Recently, Yoon Do Hyun volunteered as the vocal coach for the Korean media labor union members on strike and helped them make their own music video of the song.  The video features Kim Taeho, creator/producer/director of MBC’s Muhan Dojeon (무한도전, “Infinity Challenge”), Shin Jeongsu, former producer/director of MBC’s Naneun Gasuda or NAGASU (나는 가수다, “I’m a singer”), Moon Jiae, announcer/primetime news anchor (MBC), Park Daegi, reporter (KBS), Choi Wonjeong, announcer and radio show host (KBS), Choi Youngju, news anchor (YTN), and many others; and it will be shown at the joint concert of the union members of MBC, KBS, and YTN on March 16, 2012.

Trailer from the music video that will be shown
at the joint concert of the union members of
MBC, KBS, and YTN on March 16, 2012.
Youtube channel: mbcunion2012  

Yoon said, “We made the song to comfort the weak and weary and are so happy with the way this song is used.”  And I also gotta cheer them on from across the Pacific.  Here it goes.  Euratchacha, MBC!  Euratchacha, KBS!  Euratchacha, YTN!  Korea, Fighting!

Today (03/15/2012), mbcunion2012 just uploaded their music video on Youtube. The media union members join YB for the second half of the song.  Who would've known Kim Taeho, creator/producer/director of MBC's Infinity Challenge, has got such an amazing singing voice?  

Bravo! Brava! Bravissimo!

[MV] mbcunion2012Hinsuyeom Gorae
(March 15, 2012)  
Actual singing starts at 2:10.

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